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A Sense of Purpose: TEDxToronto Announces Second Set of Speakers

TORONTO (July 31st, 2013)

It’s the choices we make that set up apart. This year’s TEDxToronto conference focuses on the theme “The Choices We Make” and the latest round of speakers announced today exemplify how life-changing certain moments can be.

From an urban designer to a Buddhist to a professor to an activist, these speakers illustrate how our individual and collective choices – both big and small – can set us on new paths.

“From advocates to spiritualists, our second set of speakers feel a strong sense of purpose that has guided them to pursue action,” said Afshin Mousavian, chair and co-organizer of TEDxToronto. “They are sure to spark similar feelings in our audience, urging us all to see the world from a different perspective and drive positive change.”

The 2013 conference is being held on September 26 at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. The four other speakers that have been announced so far are Mark Henick, Gabrielle Scrimshaw, Deborah S. Berlin-Romalis and Mark Bowden (Click here for more information). Further speakers and performers will be announced over the coming weeks.

Applications to become a TEDxToronto 2013 delegate will be accepted until August 4th at 11:59 p.m. (Click here to apply).

The second set of speakers include:

Rodolphe el-Khoury: Rodolphe is Director of Urban Design at the University of Toronto's Daniels Faculty and Partner in the design firm Khoury Levit Fong. el-Khoury is the author of critically acclaimed books in architectural history and theory and has received international recognition for his design work including awards form the American Institute of Architects.  As co-director of RAD Lab, el-Khoury researches architectural applications for information technology aiming for enhanced responsiveness and sustainability in buildings and cities.

Michael Stone: Michael Stone is a renown Buddhist teacher, Yoga teacher, psychotherapist and activist. He leads Centre of Gravity, a thriving community in downtown Toronto integrating spiritual practice with civic engagement. Michael teaches and lectures internationally on the integration of mindfulness meditation, psychology and social action. He lives with his partner and two sons in downtown Toronto.

Dr. Brendan Frey: Dr. Frey hunts for the genetic codes that determine the fates, sometimes good and sometimes bad, of the cells in our bodies. A world leader in introducing concepts and algorithms that reveal how our cells ‘read’ our DNA and that make reliable predictions for how our cells behave. Dr. Frey is a Professor at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He sits on the Technical Advisory Board of Microsoft Research India and his grad students contribute to knowledge transfer in companies big and small.

Ti-Anna Wang: Born in 1989, Ti-Anna was named to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Soon after her 13th birthday, her father, Wang Bingzhang, a veteran democracy activist, was arrested and sentenced to life in prison in China for his role in political activism. Since then, she has spent much of her time and energy working for his freedom. This journey has taken her around the world in a process of discovery of the ideals her name embodies. She graduated McGill in East Asian Studies and recently spent a year studying Mandarin in Taipei.


To learn more about the speakers and the conference, visit
Photos of the speakers are available upon request.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.

At a TED conference, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED speakers have included Roger Ebert, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Brian Greene, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Three major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Vancouver, Canada, simultaneous with TEDActive, in Whistler, BC; and the TEDGlobal Conference takes place each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

On, talks from TED conferences are shared with the world for free as TED Talks videos. A new TED Talk is posted every weekday. Through the Open Translation Project, TED Talks are subtitled by volunteers worldwide into more than 90 languages. Through our distribution networks, TED Talks are shared on TV, radio, Netflix and many websites.

The TEDx initiative grants free licenses to people around the world to organize TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. More than 5,000 TEDx events have been held, and selected talks from these events are also turned into TED Talks videos.

The annual TED Prize grants $1 million to an exceptional individual with a wish to change the world. The TED Fellows program helps world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. TED-Ed creates short video lessons by pairing master teachers with animators, for use in classroom instruction or independent learning.

Contact Information

For interviews with TEDxToronto organizers or speakers:
Candi Jeronimo
Public Relations Manager, TEDxToronto


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